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How to Track Your Site Visitors

Website tracking has existed in many forms and allows users to learn more about visitors to their sites. In the early days stat counters were used. These were often inaccurate and gave very little detail. Since then things have progressed significantly and we are now able to learn a great deal about the visitors through packages such as Google Analytics. In this article we will tell you how to setup Google Analytics tracking.

Sign up for an account

The first thing you will need to do is head over to the Google Analytics home page and sign up for an account. During this process you will be asked to enter the URL in which you want to track and a relevant time zone. Note: you will need an existing Google Account to do this.

Installing the Tracking
Once you have entered in your details you will be presented with some tracking code. This needs to be added to every page of your website. If you are using a template then you can simply paste the code into your footer file and it will be recorded on every page. If you are using a static site with individually designed pages then you will need to go through each page manually. There are a couple of other ways you could do it but they can be quite complex. You can see the Google help page for further information.

The method described above will allow you to install basic tracking however there are ways to capture a greater level of detail. For example if you own an ecommerce store then you can use some advanced tracking to record specific order information.
Once you have your tracking in place you can view a range of data about your site visitors.

Setting up Goals
Google Analytics can be customised to track certain things. This is important as something bits of information will be more important to you than others. For example if you run a plumbing service then you might want to track the number of enquiries through goal tracking. To set this up you will need to login to your Analytics account and click on the edit actions link. You will then be presented with a page which lets you add goals. In most cases you just have to enter the final page which people land on once they complete a specific action. There are many ways to do this and further information can be found on the Google help site.

Google Analytics can be setup to be as basic or as complex as you like. The advantage is that you can actually do this as many previous setups wouldn’t allow you to do this. Tracking is something that should be installed on every site as it lets you know what works on your site and what doesn’t. This is important as you have already invested significant amounts in good hosting and a web design.

Guest Author: PushON
Image: djcodrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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